Please support my art, writing, and imperial pursuits with a contribution!
Thursday, June 30, 2005
This past Tuesday, Gabrielle and I went and taped an audition to host our own TV talk show. If we got the gig (highly unlikely), it would be called the Jim & Gab Show (or as she likes to say, the Gab & Jim Show).
Was I excited? You betcha. Optimistic? A little, unreasonably so. But I couldn't shake this feeling that the whole thing was really a reality TV show.
It would be too easy to say "life doesn't have a script." Actually I believe it does; I am constantly writing scripts for every scene that I live. More to the point, reality TV has created a new awareness of "life as fiction" -- the structured impromptu.
It goes like this: here's what we're going to talk about, unless we decide to talk about something else. That's what our audition script looked like.
I'm not a professional actor. And so what I like to get from experiences like this is not "how can this improve my acting?" but "how can this improve my reality?"
The answer is to achieve a greater awareness of "the camera." During our taping, Gab and I exchanged a few quips that I thought were charming and a little funny. My line about virginity being "so last season" and Gab's comment that Lindsey Lohan and Ashlee Simpson should settle their differences by mud wrestling were greeted with laughter from the wings. Call me self-centered, or perhaps all my social skills comes from growing up in bars and not on set, but when I heard the laughs, I turned to make eye contact with the funny man. What I really did was break eye contact with the camera.
I'm not saying the audience is not important -- either in live TV or in social circles -- but don't forget the camera is not just a person, but an important person. The camera is the person.
You would do well to always find the camera.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Today is a day to celebrate the undead. You might think, like I do, that every day is a good day to celebrate the undead. So why is today so special?
Because today my friend and fellow L.A. publisher Ross Richie releases (unleashes?) Zombie Tales #1. Six fresh from the ground tales of zombie goodness. And I wish they were ALL longer.
Something I've learned from writing short comics stories -- 8-10 pages is not very long. It's really like one big scene. Or, even when the tone isn't funny, it's like a joke: a quick set-up and a punch line.
All the stories follow this type; they all have pretty great endings. But what gets me is that each story is so imaginative in its creation of a zombie-filled world, that I believe that there IS more than a clever twist or a good jolt of surprise. What is the world like outside the classroom of Mark Waid's smart short? Who's really behind the carnage of Keith Giffen's funny, gory story?
At least Andy Cosby's story has a "to be continued..." at the end.
Though I could say good things about all the selections in this anthology, I have to give special props to Mike Nelson and his offering, "Severance."
Ross is always going on about how Mike is a great new talent, and sometimes such gushing praise makes a Jim Pascoe a little ... wary. But Mr. Nelson totally delivered in a super-tight 8-pager that has a real jolt of excellence on every single page. Re-reading it now as I write this up just confirms this. I'm shaking my head thinking, yup, he nailed it.
Nailed it right in the head. Like you should, when dealing with zombies.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Last night I heard someone shouting "That! That! That! That! That!" It was driving me mad.
Until I realized it was a dog barking.
What kind of dog barks, "That!"?
Monday, June 27, 2005
I'm so lucky to be married to such a lovely and talent woman. Gabrielle breaks out and shows I'm not the only rock star in the family with an awesome interview/profile featured on the front page of LAist. Seeing her picture splashed across the Web is the best birthday present I could possibly hope for. She's number one!
Friday, June 24, 2005
I'm taking a vacation of sorts this weekend for my birthday. Even though I'll have my laptop, and I plan to do as much writing as I usually do ... if not more.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
From the JPP dream journal, last night's edition:
I was at a strange restaurant in New York. It was a five-course buffet, but all the courses weren't set out all at the same time; they were arranged one course at a time. Which means that by the time I got to the restaurant, I had already missed the first two course.
This did not deter me.
I grabbed a plate and headed for course #3. On my way around the room, navigating the archipelago of tables, I saw a strange shelf near the pastry section.
It was a shelf of books.
There were mostly art books. I remember seeing the beautiful Fantagraphics collected Peanuts comics, but I reminded myself that my birthday's coming up, so I put them back. Then I saw these massive phone-book-size collections of old Pogo comics. I was never a huge Pogo fan, but these books were gorgeous. There were two of them, but only vols 2 and 3.
A buffet server came over to inform me that they were taking away the third course, making way for the fourth. I still hadn't eaten anything. I said, "Are these books ... free? Are they part of the buffet?"
She told me that they were part of the buffet, but there was an extra $.02 charge per book. I took them both back to the table and my dad complained "how are you going to take those back on the plane? They're too damn heavy!"
I woke up not remembering eating anything.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Yes, this site is now "ad driven," which is, of course, short hand for explaining that my "business model" is to generate "ad revenue" to pay for ... well, I'm hoping for at least a cup of coffee a month.
At least they're not pop-up ads, right?
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Although it's almost over, happy Flag Day everyone!
Sunday, June 12, 2005
From experimental architect Lebbeus Woods:
"The human condition is marked by our being strangers, born into a world that we do not create but must discover and, to some extent, invent. We rely on learning, particularly in the earlier stages of our adaptation to the world, meaning the acceptance of others' ideas of what it and we are. Later, when we confront our existential isolation, we rely on some form of creative thinking of our own. The whole experience is marked by struggle and uncertainty, especially the creative part."
Saturday, June 11, 2005
I realize I made an unfortunate oversight when, in my haste to post about the LA Weekly article while I was mobile in NYC, I didn't give credit to the fantastic photographer, Kevin Scanlon.
He took a ton of pictures of Tom and me, and I was super happy with how it turned out. I got to talk to him a bit at the party the Weekly through in honor of all the indie publishers they featured. And I can't believe it took me a trip to his Web site to figure out that he came from Pittsburgh, same as yours truly.
Take a look at his portfolio. He's got some killer shots. I'm honored to have been shot by him.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
We all know that I'm a fanatic about writing in coffee shops. And were anyone to ask me "why?" again, I've got a new story to add to the collection.
I'm at the counter of my local coffee shop at lunchtime. My favorite waitress comes over to say hello. Turns out it's her birthday. she gives me a piece of her cake. We're starting on good terms here.
She remembers when I was working on JETIX, and tells me that she finally saw it on TV with her son, who is prime JETIX-age. I didn't mention the whole Emmy thing, because ... well, it's her day not mine. I'm happy to listen.
She asks what I'm working on now. I tell her I'm writing a book. And she says that her ex-husband just landed a book deal. How nice, I say. That's great.
She says it's called "Absence of Phallus."
I was all, excuse me? And she kept saying it. "You know, PHALLUS. PHALLUS."
Yes. I know. She continues.
"My husband had a sex change operation. She's really quite good looking now. She used to work with my grandmother at Boeing. I showed my grandmother a picture of her once, you know, after we got divorced, and she said, 'who's the booby gal?' and I said, 'Grandma, it's George!'"
She smiles at me as I sit there speechlessly eating her cake, and she says, "I'm not embarrased. You know, it's just part of my story."
And that's the wisdom of the coffee shop.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
As many of you know (at least the many of you who have found my site only because of the Fluff Girls Song), I'm a book writer who also loves and dabbles in music. And while I love good ol' fashion rock and roll (not technically true -- I think rock and roll existed only for a short while in the '50s and '60s; after that, "rock" as we know it grew into other genres of popular music. Heavy metal is no more rock and roll than disco), my preference these days tends toward experimental electronic music.
So when new, home-grown, remix theory clashes with contemporary classic literature, well, I'm in heaven.
It's all going down at PenguinRemixed.
Penguin -- who, it must be said, is one of the only fiction publishers (like UglyTown) to have a strong recognizeable brand -- has opened up access to samples from their audiobook library to allow musicians to "remix" these spoken word samples into song.
I have only listened to a handful of the mixes on the site, and all I can say is, WOW.
Last night, I cranked out a new magazine article and a couple ads for Crime Spree Magazine, and I woke up early this morning to find that I was sick. Too much travelling, I imagine. So when I'm not resting, I'm drinking green tea and listening to these hypnotic tracks.
Monday, June 06, 2005
Got back from BEA, and am ready for a vacation from all my traveling.
But no such luck.
I was so busy all today, I still haven't managed to reply to any of my email yet. Though I do appreciate everyone who wrote to say nice things about the Weekly article.
I'm looking forward to some alone time with my keyboard, writing away all the stress of my busy last couple weeks.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Hip alternative weekly paper, LA Weekly, has featured UglyTown in its latest issue, out today. If you are in L.A., pick it up. If not, check out the article online.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
We have landed, set up our roost (courtesy of the lovely and talented Lauren Henderson -- thank you very much, darling), and had a few drinks. The town already feels like ours.
It's a real joy to walk the streets of SoHo with Tom. These days our conversations always seems to center on kids and home ownership and profit models ... it's good to get back to why we became friends in the first place: walking strange streets at night in search of another drink.
It's good too that after the usual conversations wind down, we are ready to wind up again: talk goes to movies and writing and music and it's all a good reminder why we are friends and partners in the first place.
I'm stealing wireless connectivity off my new friend "bean" (thank you, my beany brother), but I'm still going to be in and out of touch this weekend. Don't trust the out-of-town Pascoe.
© Jim Pascoe. All Rights Reserved.